James Cameron Asked Composer James Horner To Return for Titanic

Cameron and Horner clashed on the music for Aliens — for which Horner had just hours to write some music, yet earned Horner his first Oscar nomination

James Horner in 1995, conducting the score for Braveheart.

Many years had passed since James Cameron and Jamie Horner had parted ways.


The last time they'd worked together was Cameron's first with a big-name composer — on Aliens. On that film, Horner had been promised weeks, but ended up with days because of Cameron's shooting schedule running long, and constantly changing edits to the picture.


Horner felt his talents were being mistreated by the situation, in which he said the idea to replace him was even floated to his face by producer Gale Anne Hurd — though he wasn't.


Cameron, on the other hand, felt that Horner had failed to give Aliens his all, being frustrated by the unavoidable delays on Cameron's first studio picture.


So when Cameron wanted to work with Horner again for his upcoming film Titanic, there were some conditions.


Their reunion is reconstructed in Episodes 8-10 of BLOCKBUSTER: THE STORY OF JAMES CAMERON the award-winning "biopic podcast" series, starring The Walking Dead's Ross Marquand, from filmmaker and journalist Matt Schrader.


One of the requests Horner made was that he only had to deal with James Cameron if he was "in a good mood," in order to ensure they don't get into kerfuffles stemming from other frustrations Cameron had in the filmmaking process.


This is featured in BLOCKBUSTER, free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and all other platforms.


BLOCKBUSTER is winner of Adweek's Creative Podcast of the Year, and earned two Webby Honorees and NYF Radio Awards, including for Best Podcast Miniseries.


Horner used this to his advantage in secretly recording a song — something Cameron had specifically said he didn't want in Titanic — with a pop music megastar. Before even telling Cameron about it, he'd recorded and mastered with Celine Dion.


You can hear more about the passions and rise of James Cameron in BLOCKBUSTER, free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all other platforms.


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